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Prices AT&T, Verizon, Sprint charge for cell-phone taps

So I ran across this article this morning about the Prices AT&T, Verizon, Sprint charge for cell-phone taps ( http://tinyurl.com/6tyqfn6 ) and it reminded me of an early Access program I wrote for the RCMP ( Canadian FTW! ) that helped them find conversations on electronically timestamped reels of voice recordings. Not sure I should talk about this here, but I think it's OK, I think it was relatively unclassified. They needed a computer program to track mobile phone numbers and correlate them to the voice recordings because the wiretap targets were clever: they would have 2 or 3 cell phones and forward their calls amongst them. Anyway, my program worked well, it took in call detail records from Ericsson AXE an Nortel cell phone switches ( maybe old AMPS format, back then, might have already been GSM, not sure it was a long time ago ) and produced as output for each wiretap, a set of mobile phone numbers and timestamps that made up a cohesive conversation. They could then feed this into another computer that spun reel to reel tapes, and I actually got to visit this giant underground room where they had racks and racks of reel-to-reel tapes going and a big minicomputer to spin them and find conversations. Oh and the targets of these wiretaps? Drug dealers. And back then I don't think any of the Stentor ( old association of Canadian telecom companies ) family of companies charged the RCMP anything for the taps. But here in the USA, we charge up to $700 a month per tap - that seems to be a bit of rip-off in my mind, seeing as the same logic I wrote 20 years ago is probably included by default in the modern mobile phone switch software and it shouldn't cost the carriers a dime to do this, all automated, not even any manpower. So my blog post is best summed up as why are the carriers ripping off law enforcement, and why does law enforcement accept this situation? #in twitter